Vedat Bilgin, Minister of Labor and Social Security, spoke about the 2022 budget of the Ministry at the General Assembly of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
In his speech on the ministry's 2022 budget at the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Bilgin stated that freedoms of trade unions and organization are at the forefront of the wide opportunities offered by the democratic system. Minister Bilgin said that the residues of September 12 regarding the working life should be eliminated as soon as possible. Bilgin said, “We all know that our country needs a new constitution in order to remove all the residues in our political life. We find it very important that this constitution is also implemented by this Parliament.”
Bilgin pointed out that Turkey has covered significant distances in the democratization process in the last 20 years, with the political will meeting the social demands.
Noting that as the Minister of Labor and Social Security, it is his duty to protect and develop labor, Bilgin said, “In this respect, when our employees face any obstacle, the Ministry of Labor of Turkey stands by them. As the Minister of Labor, we stand by them. No one should have any doubts about it," he said.
Bilgin said that a group of female workers were dismissed because they were organized in a workplace belonging to a foreign partnership in Istanbul, and that he communicated with the said company through the Istanbul Governor's Office. Explaining that he reminded the company of the law of the Republic of Turkey, Bilgin stated that this problem was resolved the next day.
Stating that he met with the confederation officials of different opinions, Bilgin said, "I conveyed it to the three big confederations, I don't care which opinion you have, I see that you are the organization of labor, I will confront anyone who hinders labor, prevents the organization of labor, or tries to undermine its rights."
Referring to the importance of union organization, Bilgin shared the knowledge that they will implement the “White Flag” arrangement that will encourage unionization.
“We Will Achieve A Serious Minimum Wage Increase That Meets Our Workers' Expectations”
Reminding that various estimates were made on the minimum wage, Bilgin reported that there are approximately 6 million workers receiving minimum wage. Noting that the integrity of these people with their families should be taken into account, Bilgin said that the minimum wage has an effect that will also determine other wages.
Bilgin shared information about the research carried out by the Ministry within the scope of determining the minimum wage and stated that they asked workers, employers and professional managers about their minimum wage expectations.
“The vast majority of our workers, 37 percent, said that they expect between 3 thousand 750 and 4 thousand liras. A rate of 9 percent, they pronounced numbers over 4 thousand liras. There were those who pronounced it lower. We've seen workers in small businesses pronounce numbers at lower levels. This is not without reason. They say: 'Yes, we want our wages to increase, but we want our business to continue.' Therefore, I do not know what your expectations are here, but we will realize a serious minimum wage increase that meets the expectations of the society and our workers. This will create a festive atmosphere for Turkey, for our employees, especially for our low-income minimum wage employees. I would like to announce this in advance.”
Noting that it is more meaningful to declare the minimum wage at a higher level due to the fluctuations in the economy, Bilgin made the following assessments:
"While managing this process, let the minimum wage protect our workers and workers, but also a sigh of relief to Turkey in this process, in an inflationary environment, at a stage where the post-pandemic economic fluctuations of the whole world have put all of Europe and developed economies into great difficulties. We say take it. With this in mind, I would like to state that we will determine it at a level that will allow you to breathe comfortably.”
Referring to the collective agreement made with public workers, Bilgin said, “We sat down and talked with civil servant confederations in the past days. We told them: 'We stand by the promise that when the inflation difference arises on the collective agreement we made with you, it will turn it into a social welfare share. We stand behind that signature.' We represent a wage policy that protects the workers of Turkey and an approach that adopts a social policy approach in power. We are determined to continue this,” he said.
“We Will Remove 3600 Supplementary Indicator from Being a Promise and Put it into Practice in 2022”
Stating that the work on the subject of 3600 additional indicators continues, Bilgin said:
“We want to make an arrangement that will not harm the sense of equity in the society. So we did the technical work. We will collect our commission next week. Our social partners, trade unions, will be in the commission. After that, we will send it to the Supreme Assembly. At your discretion, we will remove the 3600 additional indicator from being a promise and put it into practice in 2022. We have full confidence that our Assembly will do what is necessary when it comes to the Assembly.”
Speaking on the issue of contracted personnel in the public sector, Bilgin said, “After the issue of 3600 additional indicators, we also put the issue of personnel on our agenda. By completing our work on the contracted personnel issue, we will resolve that issue in the most appropriate way.”
Emphasizing that it is not a coincidence that Turkey's growth for three consecutive quarters is not a coincidence, Bilgin said that it is not a coincidence that an economy grows for three consecutive quarters with billions of dollars in monthly exports.
Minister Bilgin explained the projects carried out within the body of İŞKUR to combat unemployment, and stated that they have demonstrated that they have a social policy approach that protects labor and sweat.